Never Giving Up: An Interview with Child Care Rockstar Winners 2020 — Heather Jensen and Diane Havens

In this episode, Kris is joined by the mother-daughter team and owners of Kids In Action, Heather Jensen and Diane Havens, located in Kingwood Texas. They share their stories of having a business survive two natural disasters, how they were able to still stay positive, and the importance of building strong relationships. Because of their strength and resilience, they were crowned this year’s winners of the Child Care Rockstar 2020 contest.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Diane started the center in 1998 and it has come a long way. Now, Heather and Diane are able to use their facility seven days a week through birthday parties, classes, and private rentals.

  • Fun fact reveal: Diane is a washboard player, and Heather is a huge Harry Potter fan (and even has a Potter tattoo on her wrist!).

  • Kids In Action was hit by two natural disasters. The first was a flood that scarily left children stranded on the second floor.

  • The women immediately sprung into action looking for an alternate location for their center and were fortunate to lease a local church.

  • The only thing more critical than flood insurance to Kids In Action’s survival was the relationships they had built over the years. After about four months of rebuilding, they were able to get the center back to full enrollment. A month after being open; a hurricane hit the center.

  • Their relationships with the local schools and the Child Care Success Academy were a big element in feeling supported and getting back on track.

  • They lost quite a few families after the second disaster and decided they had to flood-proof their building to reassure parents and staff. Giving up and closing the business was never an option for them.

  • Their biggest goal was to keep paying the teachers and to maintain the culture they had built. They got a lot of ideas and support from the Child Care Success Academy Facebook group.

  • Kris couldn’t be happier that Heather and Diane won the Child Care Rockstar contest. They are shining examples of leadership, getting back on your feet, and connecting with your community.

  • One thing they would have done differently? Taken a business course. Thankfully, they learned a lot from the Child Care Success Academy.

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